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Pure International Young Miss America

For Taysja Sevilla, entering pageants isn't about the glitz and the glory, but for the satisfaction of helping others through community service.

Sevilla, a sophomore at Beloit High School, hopes to enter the military after high school graduation to earn her doctorate through the Navy. Here patriotism to her country shines through in her pageantry as she was recently crowned Pure International Young Miss America on July 4th in Orlando, Florida.

"Some people think all pageants are glitz and glamor and honey boo boo stuff," said Sevilla. "But with Pure it is all about how big your heart is, not how big your hair is."

Pure Pageantry's motto is to 'Inspire, Lead and Achieve'. They are now working on an even bigger project of, 'Being the Impact'.

"This project shows how just one act of kindness can change another persons world," said Sevilla.

For Sevilla to win the honor of her recent title is very inspiring as this is only her second year of competing. Last year, as her first, she received the Young Miss Midwest title at the Kansas State pageant.

She now continues to represent the state of Kansas, the United States and her hometown of Beloit.

"When they announced my name, I said to myself, "No way", laughed Sevilla. "Even after I had the crown and the sash at hand, I thought I was dreaming. I still can't believe it."

During competition, Sevilla, had to go through a series of events including: Interview- a one on one talk with the three judges (1/2 of the 100 point score); Personal Introduction- a 30 second speech on the stage in front of the audience presenting herself and the work she has provided through community service (10 points); Formal wear - of evening gowns (10 points); and Modeling (10 points).

"Interview was probably one of the hardest sessions I had to do," Sevilla said. "I'm pretty humble and it is hard to talk about myself. I'm not very good at talking to people but as soon as I walked in, the nervousness seemed to just go away. Pageantry has helped me gain confidence in myself and I am much more approachable now."

The main aspect about Pure that Sevilla enjoys is the community service.

"Pure Pageantry is whole heartedly into community service, and I'm in for the cause as well," she said.

Sevilla has performed community service in Beloit with helping on a Blessing Box drive, a diaper drive for Heart Choices, and helped at the first ever Lakefest event just last weekend. She will be taking part in the 'Fill the Boot' project in Kansas City on August 31, is preparing to participate in the Muscular Dystrophy walk in September and the Buddy Walk in support of Downs Syndrome in October. Along with the local Meals on Wheels and other charities, Sevilla likes giving back to others.

"I love helping others no matter what the situation," said Sevilla. "I get satisfaction when others are happy. It makes me happy as well."

During competition, Sevilla said she had 11-15 competing in her Young Miss category.

"It is a lot of hard work," Sevilla said. She had to learn how to walk in heels and has a coach for practicing interviews. It can also get costly with the purchase of gowns.

When asked about Miss America, Sevilla stated that she is just trying to be a kid right now, but that option is open to her. The small town girl is supported by her mom and dad, Kate and Peter, and her three brothers as well. She says her friends are also proud of her achievements.

"My mom was over the moon when they announced my name and was crying," said Sevilla. "They love and support me no matter what I do. I am happy to have

everyone's support."

For now, Sevilla, will continue community service and prepares for the International event which will be held in Columbus Ohio. This year she competed with all 50 states and will compete with the UK, Germany, and countries from all over the world in next years event. She enjoys being a mentor and hopes to inspire others to reach for their goals as well, in whatever it is they choose to do.

"I started in Pure Pageantry, and they are now my forever family," said Sevilla. "I will miss it when it is over, but Miss America is still an option."

Beloit Call

P.O. Box 309, Concordia, Ks. 66901

Phone: 785-738-3537